Over the past decade, citizens have been made aware of numerous highly contagious diseases that are affecting our community, region, province, country or the world. Recently, Ebola topped the list of communicable diseases and it was in the news daily. However, we turn a blind eye to diseases that are prevalent in our community because we have grown up around them and there seems to be an acceptance of them, even if they kill numerous people in our province every year.
Communicable diseases that may affect our community may include:
- Enterovirus EV-D68
- Pandemic Influenza
- Legionnaires Disease
Although this is not an exhaustive list, it should be noted that all of these are transmitted by person to person contact, usually through bodily fluids and are spread by such innocent activities as sneezing, coughing, and shaking hands. Looking at the list above, it would appear that the deadliest is at the bottom and the top of the list is least serious, however, influenza kills more people in our province every year than all the others put together.
With this knowledge, Swift Current Emergency Management monitors all of these diseases, as well as others such as West Nile Virus, the Bird Flu and Hantavirus, which are transmitted from animals. We have plans in place to support the Cypress Regional Health Authority in containing any outbreaks in our area as well as protecting our workers from the effects of these diseases.
The key to prevention with all of these diseases is knowledge and personal hygiene. Wash your hands regularly and particularly after using the washroom, sneeze or cough into your sleeve, do not shake hands with others if you are sick, do not handle dead animals, and stay at home if you are sick so you don’t spread it to your fellow workers. In addition, have a regular flu shot and ensure all of your vaccinations are up to date.
For more information on these and other diseases, check out following sites:
Cypress Health Region www.cypresshealth.ca
Saskatchewan Health www.saskatchewan.ca
Public Health Agency of Canada www.phac-aspc.gc.ca
World Health Organization www.who.int
Centers for Disease Control www.cdc.gov